Female Characters Of The Play ' Medea '

1377 Words Sep 23rd, 2014 6 Pages
In Euripides’ play Medea, the audience is introduced to a uniquely female perspective often absent in Greek drama. Of course, this perspective, being written by a man, is not absent of the female mythological archetypes common throughout all of Greek literature. Most of the female characters hold archetypal roles to move the story forward. However, during the course of the play, Medea defies a simple archetypal prescription. She fits in between the lines of a “good” character and “bad” character, plays many different roles for her own ends, but still remains sympathetic. Medea takes on different female roles in order to accomplish her goals, however she as a character does not fit neatly into any one female archetype. This speaks to her greater role as a tragic hero, magnifying her manipulations and her reasons for doing so—her struggle as a powerful woman to find a place to belong. Before the events of the play began, Medea played the role of the traditional helper maiden to Jason as he journeys with his crew on the Argo. She saves Jason from many threats, and is an integral initiator of action in the story, including tricking her own family and killing her brother for the sake of the mission. However, the play picks up just after Jason has denied Medea the role to continue helping him and wants to deprive her of her role as mother to their children as well. With this change, Medea turns from helper maiden to antagonist against Jason. One would think she would fit into…
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